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September 2022

S Afr Med J. 1983 Mar; 63(10): 360-3.

Beliefs and practices concerning measles in Gazankulu.

Ijsselmuiden CB.

A survey was undertaken to isolate the social factors which might influence the coverage rate of the existing measles vaccination programme. Although vaccinations have been carried out for several years, no decrease in the measles admission rate has been observed at Elim Hospital in Gazankulu, Transvaal. It was found that measles is still a common disease and that it is considered essential for the normal development of a child. In the treatment of measles a variety of indigenous medications are used, some of which are potentially dangerous. Almost 80% of mothers will visit a clinic if their children have measles, and 64% combine this with traditional therapy. The majority were in favour of a vaccination programme. The content of a health education programme must be carefully considered, in order to prevent adverse effects upon the population.

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